Friday, February 5, 2016

Garrison is 7

Our first baby, Garrison Cade, is 7 today!! We are thrilled and are excited, we are shocked it's already here, and we are more than anything thankful.

Seven years ago today at 12:33 PM, our precious baby boy made his appearance after a long and tough delivery. He made us parents and showed us a glimpse of God's love for us as His children. Some days have been long, some have been longer, and a few have been short. But the years? The years have been so fast. Incredibly, unbelievably fast. We must soak up the days. We must soak them up and enjoy them and pause to intentionally embrace them and love them, these days. The days that make up the years that fly by. *Tears*

Garrison Cade Selph, 8 pounds, 1 ounce, 19.5 inches long on his true birthday. 

Be still my heart. He gets more handsome, a little taller, more mature, and even more precious to us every single year. 

Garrison is....

*Smart. He catches onto things quickly, he has a great memory, great comprehension skills, loves numbers, and does really well in school. 

*Type A. He likes things to be a certain way and can become easily frustrated if things aren't going the way he thinks they should. He likes being in control and he can become a little (or a lot, haha) impatient if things aren't moving at his speed or meeting his expectations. 

*Inquisitive. He asks a lot of questions. He wants to know why a lot. He needs an explanation for almost everything. He is curious, observant, and really interested in what's going on around him and what's going on with __________, you name it.

*Competitive. I think this goes with his Type A personality plus being our child. =) He loves to compete and he loves to win. We've had many a lesson over the years when it comes to being humble, showing good sportsmanship, and losing with grace and class.

*Thoughtful. He just has a really big heart. He is very considerate of others, especially his brothers, and he shows love in sincere and tangible ways. He loves giving gifts and making others feel special. He is just a sweet and thoughtful son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend. 

Garrison loves...

*His family. He is a daddy's boy through and through. He loves his little brothers fiercely. He melts my heart with the thoughtful way he loves me and his precious heartfelt cards he gifts me with. He adores all of his grandparents and loves his cousins, aunts, and uncles to pieces. He's just a sweet little family man who loves being with all of us.

*Spaghetti, tacos, chili, deviled eggs, Little Debbies, cake, skittles, starbursts, suckers, and anything else sweet you can think of. =)

*Sports. He loves to watch sports and play sports. He loves being active, playing outside with his brothers and his daddy, and playing on a team. 

*Jesus. He loves being a Christian and knowing that Jesus saved him and that he is a follower of Jesus now. He loves reading his Bible and he loves learning more through Sunday School and Children's Church. 

*Animals. He is a huge animal lover. He loves wild animals, forest animals, zoo animals, ocean animals, all the animals. =) He loves reading about them and learning about them and is fascinated by them.

Garrison Does...

*Lots and lots outdoors. He looooves being outside. No matter how hot or how cold, he prefers being outside. The temperature doesn't really bother him, rainy days are not his friend, and given the choice he would always choose playing outside over playing inside. He wants to play soccer, basketball, baseball, football, golf, drive his dune racer, explore, swing, run, help Terrell, all the things outside. He is also the one who asked Santa for a bow and arrow and target and fishing pole and lures for Christmas. So I guess he's our little outdoorsman... minus the hunting since I don't know if he could ever bring himself to shoot an animal. =)

*Everything you can think of with Austin. Those 2 come as a package deal. He and Austin share a strong bond and pretty much do EVERYTHING together around here, while he and Layton have a sweet and close relationship that's special and unique to them. Garrison is very considerate of both of his little brothers and loves playing with them and doing things with them... even if they do fight quite a bit. =) 

*Write and make a lot of sweet cards. Oh my are his cards the sweetest! Garrison is so thoughtful when it comes to his cards. He loves making cards as a way to show love and always puts a lot of time, thought, and effort into them. They are always super sweet, sincere, and thoughtful. 

*Eat a lot. =) He has a big appetite and loves to eat. He cleans his plate every single night and usually asks for seconds. He eats HUGE portions of his favorite foods and always eats what we have for supper with minimal or no complaining, even if it isn't his favorite. He loves sweets and dessert too and has been known to eat too much on occasion and come down with a stomachache. 

*Really enjoy artwork and crafting. He enjoys drawing, coloring, painting, and making things. Creating artwork and crafting are one of his favorite indoor activities.

Garrison Cade you are one of a kind and a priceless gift to our family. We are so thankful for you and the day you were born! God blessed us abundantly when He gave us you!! Happy Birthday to our very favorite 7 year old!! We love you every minute of every day!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Friday Favorites on Thursday

I decided to do my Friday Favorites a day early this week because tomorrow is Garrison's birthday so I'll be posting about my favorite 7 year old in the morning. =) 

This week has been a pretty good one. We're counting down to Garrison's birthday and building up his big day and our special outing for him and we've been busy with some big decisions and upcoming plans too. Plus more party and Valentine prep. February is a busy month for us! So it's been a little bit of a whirlwind around here, but in a good way. Tiring but good.

Here are my favorite happenings from our week so far...

*Last Friday Terrell had an out of town meeting and he got home just before we had to pick Garrison up from school so he squeezed in a few minutes of quality time with our littles. My boys are so, so blessed.

*Friday afternoon while daddy worked in the yard and prepared for the birthday party, these 3 enjoyed lots of playground time. 

*Ready to celebrate Nana's birthday Sunday after church!

*We had our very own room at a very crowded restaurant and it made all the difference in our experience. Phew. Haha. We enjoyed our lunch and Layton was able to walk around in the room after he finished eating and things went really smoothly with our littlest who is the most high maintenance family member at restaurants by far. We sang to Nana and gave her our gift and had a really fun time together.

*Garrison started on a new lego project that he got for his birthday earlier this week and requested that him and Austin have some alone time to work. =)

*After over 30 minutes of entertaining Layton downstairs and baby brother missing his big brothers, I let him in the room to play legos too. After a few minutes, he and Austin were bored so they played something else while Garrison worked solo. Haha. 

*My middle man concentrating hard. 

*We finally made it through the letter J! We may have to start doing 2 a week to finish his book before the end of the year. It has been super challenging to do things with Austin with 2 busy little toddlers running around!

*This little love still has a witching hour. Still. Waaaahhhh!! Late afternoon and early evening is not his friend. Or mine. Gracious. He's hungry and tired and irritable and hanging on me and into everything and hard to please and crying a lot, and anything else fun the witching hour brings. I was in the middle of cooking one afternoon this week when he just decided to lay at my feet and hold on while crying his eyes out and begging for more food. (He had just finished a pre-dinner snack.) And when he caught me making his picture he got tickled and started laughing so hard. And that's the only thing that makes this little scene a favorite. A really bad moment turned funny. =)

*Garrison, Austin, and daddy have all been working on the lego project together and they are almost done! Garrison is amazed at how cool it's turning out and is considering spending some of his birthday money on another lego set. =)

*I am so proud of our baby boy this morning. Yesterday was his first day without the paci and he did soo good. Naptime was iffy because it took him a while to go to sleep and he was awake after only 30 minutes or so of napping, but he never cried or threw a fit so I considered it a success! Bedtime broke my heart a little because he was looking for the paci and asking for it and he did cry a little for it but after extra rocking time, lots of love, and helping him get comfy with all of his special things he sleeps with he was okay and he slept all night!! We didn't have to go back in his room once last night and he made it til 6:50 this morning! We are so proud of him and so thankful for God's grace! You better believe I was praying for him to feel the peace of Jesus and to feel safe and comforted as he went to sleep. Yesterday was only our first day so things could definitely change today or in the coming days but this morning we are THANKFUL. A great start to the transition was an unexpected blessing!

*Favorite not-pictured moments: Garrison got a Build a Bear gift card at his birthday party and we've never been to one so I was explaining what it was and what we'd get to use it for and he immediately said, Okay, can Austin come too? It was so sweet and thoughtful the way he immediately wanted to make sure Austin could go with us. Then on Saturday night after his party when we were saying the blessing before eating supper Garrison prayed and thanked God for his party and for all of his friends being able to come over and play and have fun together. =)

This weekend is all about our birthday boy and the Superbowl! Tomorrow we're celebrating Garrison turning 7 with our fun little traditions at home, then on Saturday we're off to the Georgia Aquarium for his birthday outing, and Sunday after church and a hopefully restful afternoon we're gearing up for the Superbowl! Go Broncos!! We're Falcons through and through at our house but the next best thing is Peyton Manning's team. =) Happy Thursday and almost weekend!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Garrison's 7th Birthday Party

Garrison's 7th birthday party turned out perfect and was a huge success!! This was our biggest party ever, our craziest party ever, and possibly our most fun party ever. It was wild time for everyone (especially mama and daddy!) just like the invite said. =)

Garrison decided on an animal explorer/ranger/safari/wildlife theme almost right away and Megan designed the perfect invitation for us! This was definitely the most unique party theme I've ever planned for but Megan captured it amazingly with the invitation she designed. She is the BEST at what she does.

Traditional family pic before the party!

Layton wasn't feeling the family picture at first so I love this one of us looking at each other and sharing a moment. Our big boys on the other hand were overcome with excitement. Overcome. Saturday morning we turned a movie on for them to calm them down and occupy them for over an hour so they wouldn't lose their minds. Ha.

We had a beautiful day for the party. We couldn't have asked for better weather in January for a mainly outdoor party. 

The cake turned out adorable and delicious!! We gave our cake lady the animals and jeep to go on the cake and they were all a perfect fit. Garrison picked this cake out himself and I think it was my favorite of all the ones he considered. 

The favor table! We went with dollar flashlights from Walmart and packs of animal crackers. And the big boys wanted to decorate with some of their stuffed animals, hence "Slider" and "Tall Legs" making a party appearance, plus I grabbed a pair of their binoculars and framed Garrison's invite. 

My Uncle Terry let us borrow his bobcat and badger for some party decor. Ummm, these were a little too real for me. Haha. I have to say the kids LOVED them though. I'm talking hugs, kisses, and even cleaning their little faces and noses. Hahahaha. 

Before the party, a real live ranger/game warden came to visit Garrison and loaned us some more mounted animals. We went to high school with him and his wife and this visit was super special for our birthday boy. I think all the mounted animals he got to see, inspect, and have displayed at his party just made it that much more fun for him. 

I used the mounted hawk and alligator head as centerpieces. Who would have ever thought? Haha!

This was our very first party ever to have every single person we invited able to come. Garrison was thrilled and had the best time ever. I think all of the kids had a ball. But of course having that many kiddos running wild made for some craziness. Thankfully it turned out to be fun and safe craziness. Phew!

We pulled out all of our riding toys plus asked my parents to bring over the two they had and those riding toys turned out to be a huge hit. I'm talking most popular thing ever. I wish I had gotten more pictures but while most of the riding shenanigans were going on, I was busy inside. 

Notice the wrestlers in the background? Haha. Boys. 

3 best friends plus one little brother. =)

After tons of playtime outside, a pizza picnic lunch for the kiddos on the deck, and more playtime outside we finally got around to doing the cake! This is the best picture Terrell got of everybody singing Happy Birthday to him and he's actually looking over at me smiling. Melt my heart. It was the sweetest. 

Later we rounded everybody up again for presents. And this was possibly the wildest part of the party. Just one big mob of kiddos making their way around our living room with each present opened. 

After finishing up with presents we rounded everybody up for one last little adventure. We took all the kiddos on the nature trail in our neighborhood that's right down the street from our house. It's just a short trail, affectionately named Wildlife Sanctuary, that leads to a bridge and little "overlook" of a marshy, creek area. It fit with our party theme perfectly. =)

Before hitting the trail! So thankful for these sweet friends and their parents!!

Celebrating Garrison's 7th birthday party with all of his friends and our families was just the best. We had a full house, kids overflowing everywhere, yummy party food, lots of craziness, and tons of fun. At least I know the kids had fun and the birthday boy had a BLAST. =) 

We are so thankful to everyone who came to celebrate with us and especially to Garrison's grandparents who did so much to help us prepare for the party and made sure things went smoothly during the party. We are extremely blessed and so thankful for them!!

 And now we're officially on 7th birthday countdown. Friday is the big day we'll wake up with a 7 year old!!